Hospitality and Tourism

The value of the hospitality and tourism industry to the Scottish economy is considerable: recent figures suggest that it is estimated to be worth more than £4.2 billion and to employ over 218,000 staff. The targets for the future as set out by the Government are ambitious and there is a growing demand for highly-qualified professionals, at all levels, to help develop this industry.

Why QMU?

QMU has delivered elements of hospitality and tourism education for 140 years. Our international hospitality and tourism course will not only arm you with a vast array of industry knowledge, it is also designed to give you as much exposure to the reality of the industry as possible.

As a student, you can expect to: discover the diverse nature of hospitality and tourism; get an insight into running a commercial restaurant; meet professionals who have shaped the industry in the past and who will help to shape its future; discover how some of Scotland’s tourism attractions are managed and help to develop strategies for the future; debate policy with those responsible for tourism in the local area; and plan and manage bespoke tours and other activities around Scotland.

Our course is truly international; students hail from across the globe and we have links with many different hospitality and tourism organisations worldwide. Learning alongside a range of nationalities will enhance your learning and development, and our links will allow you to meet key players in the industry and open up a range of placement opportunities.

Our staff team all have experience of working in the industry and regularly publish in academic journals, keeping their teaching and research relevant. Furthermore, they have strong connections to organisations such as the Institute of Hospitality, the Tourism Society, the Scottish Tourism Alliance, the Hospitality Industry Trust and many more. These connections offer opportunities to attend conferences, workshops and even apply for scholarships to spend time abroad in Switzerland, at Disney, or at one of many other exciting locations, all connected to your learning.

There are also a range of professional qualifications that you can undertake in tandem with your studies, including the Certificate in Management Consulting Essentials, in conjunction with the Chartered Management Institute. In addition, you will engage with students and staff from the Edinburgh International Forum for the Study of Planned Events at QMU, making the connection between events and hospitality and tourism, tapping into their expertise and learning about policy, strategy and issues, in connection with the provision of hospitality at major events such as the Commonwealth Games. And with our Edinburgh location, you will be right at the heart of one of the most dynamic industries in Scotland, perfectly positioned to immerse yourself in this challenging and rewarding world.

Our approach to learning and teaching

Our creative and innovative approaches to learning and teaching not only include traditional lectures and tutorials, but also practical sessions at the prestigious Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh and Edinburgh New Town Cookery School.

There are also field visits to a myriad of hospitality and tourism organisations, guest lectures by leading industry practitioners, role plays, real life consultancy opportunities, poster presentations, a work placement and much more. We believe in offering a variety of tools to allow you to demonstrate a wide range of competencies, and to equip you with the skills relevant to the needs of today’s hospitality and tourism industry.

Our course requires you to study a series of specialist hospitality and tourism modules, but you can also study other business modules. However, one thing that you will have to do when studying hospitality and tourism is to engage with food! In Scotland, food tourism is very much on the increase with government and public sector organisations promoting awareness of the country’s potential. Therefore, not only is food a core part of the industry but it features highly in our courses. A central part of this are the practical production and service sessions that you will take part in, which are delivered at one of Edinburgh’s most prominent cooking schools, the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School. Here you will learn about quality food production, about the theory that underpins cookery, whilst working in small groups. You will have the opportunity to plan lunches and dinners and be responsible for every aspect of the service.


Our staff are very involved in research ensuring that course content is up to date. You will be taught by active researchers in their own right, some of whom have recently completed their doctoral studies and others who are publishing in mainstream academic journals. Areas in which they are currently researching include: the luxury hotel market; ecological and sustainability issues in relation to hotels; tourism in developing countries; food tourism; ‘slow’ tourism; and IT and its application to tourism and hospitality. You will also have contact with our growing number of PhD students as you progress through your chosen route of study, offering you the opportunity to meet with those engaged in the pursuit of knowledge.

Career prospects

To react to the challenges of the 21st century, and move forward, this dynamic industry urgently needs effective managers. Our graduates are perfectly positioned to play their part in this, possessing a mix of leadership, managerial, interpersonal and technical skills, all of which are crucial to career development. Our graduates have gone on to successful careers in a variety of public sector organisations such as VisitScotland and EventScotland. Many others are also are carving a career pathway with Sheraton, Gleneagles, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, Hilton, RF Hotels, as well as many smaller privately-owned companies in both tourism and hospitality. With a focus on entrepreneurial activity embedded into the degree courses, a number of graduates have successfully started their own businesses, in the UK and abroad – all of which is testament to the quality of the teaching provision at QMU.

Find out more information on how to apply for a course at QMU.